World War Two Quotes

Quotes tagged as "world-war-two" Showing 1-30 of 69
Sarah Sundin
“Sonetimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.”
Sarah Sundin

Richard Weikart
“Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism... neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the worlds greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”
Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

Ellen Brazer
“Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.
— Winston S. Churchill”
Ellen Brazer, Clouds Across the Sun

E.A. Bucchianeri
“When Hitler marched
across the Rhine
To take the land of France,
La dame de fer decided,
‘Let’s make the tyrant dance.’
Let him take the land and city,
The hills and every flower,
One thing he will never have,
The elegant Eiffel Tower.
The French cut the cables,
The elevators stood still,
‘If he wants to reach the top,
Let him walk it, if he will.’
The invaders hung a swastika
The largest ever seen.
But a fresh breeze blew
And away it flew,
Never more to be seen.
They hung up a second mark,
Smaller than the first,
But a patriot climbed
With a thought in mind:
‘Never your duty shirk.’
Up the iron lady
He stealthily made his way,
Hanging the bright tricolour,
He heroically saved the day.
Then, for some strange reason,
A mystery to this day,
Hitler never climbed the tower,
On the ground he had to stay.
At last he ordered she be razed
Down to a twisted pile.
A futile attack, for still she stands
Beaming her metallic smile.”
E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,

Jan Karon
“In World War One, they called it shell shock. Second time around, they called it battle fatigue. After 'Nam, it was post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Jan Karon, Home to Holly Springs

Leon Uris
“Today a great shot for freedom was heard. I think it stands a chance of being heard forever. It marls a turning point in the history of the Jewish people. The beginning of the return to a statues of dignity we have not known for two thousand years. Yes, today was the first step back. My battle is done. Now I turn the command over to the soldiers. ”
Leon Uris

Studs Terkel
“How goddamn foolish it is, the war. They's no war in the worth that's worth fightin' for. I don't care where it is. They can't tell me any different. Money, money is the thing that causes it all. I wouldn't be a bit surprised that the people that start wars and promote 'em are the men that make the money, make the ammunition, make the clothing and so forth. Just think of the poor kids that are starvin' to death in Asia and so forth that could be fed with how much you make one big shell of. ~Alvin "Tommy" Bridges”
Studs Terkel

Alfred Nestor
“Many Germans nowadays say they were not Nazi, and many were not, but they were nearly ALL Party members. It was safer ... and if you were not, you could end up in a ‘camp’ for retraining ... so they mostly all paid ‘lip service’ to the Nazi Party.”
Alfred Nestor, Uncle Hitler: A Child's Traumatic Journey Through Nazi Hell to the Safety of Britain

Elizabeth Berg
“For all that we might be, if only we'd let ourselves.”
Elizabeth Berg, Dream When You're Feeling Blue

Alfred Nestor
“A very important man used to visit her sometimes, and I met him too. He loved children and used to dandle me on his knee. This was how the title came about for this book, Uncle Hitler, although in the old German tradition, I called him Uncle Adolf, even though I was not related to him. This was a sign of respect to an older person, which is why I called Frau Eva ‘Aunty Eva’.”
Alfred Nestor

Agnès Humbert
“... he informed me coldly that I was in the hands of the Gestapo, and that I was about to learn that the German police are quite a different matter from their French counterparts. Following this amiable introduction, two or three officers entered the room. I was made to stand in the middle of the space as the Germans circled round me, looking me up and down with jerky, staccato movements, screaming like lunatics all the while, to the accompaniment of some sort of music emitted at top volume from an enormous radio. The din was indescribable....* I asked a typist, who also seemed to be an interpreter, if she would be kind enough to translate what the gentleman were shouting at me, as if they were questions I should be happy to answer them.

*Though these techniques seem farcical today, this was how the SS embarked on their 'work' in Paris. When they realized that these ridiculous performances were eliciting no information they improved their methods, so gradually attaining the finesse of semi-drowning in bathtubs filled with ice water, electric shocks and the rest.”
Agnès Humbert, Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War

Agnès Humbert
“... we know that the Americans are not far off, and everyone, Germans included, is longing for them to arrive. A Russian woman, the prison's unchallenged fount of all wisdom and general repository of all the latest 'news', has announced that they will be here for Easter. Easter falls on 1 April. Although it smacks a little of an April Fool's joke, her prophecy gains credence. The Americans will be here for Easter!”
Agnès Humbert, Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War

Agnès Humbert
“Wanfried, 29 March 1945

We have the compelling feeling that we are entering our final hours of captivity. They must have doubled our dose of bromide, as despite all our excitement we keep dozing off, heads on the table. Nobody tells us anything; they just warn us to keep quiet. There's no question of work any more, and we please ourselves how we spend our time. From the dormitory window we can see endless columns of refugees, both civilians and military ...”
Agnès Humbert, Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War

Agnès Humbert
“Wanfried, 31 March 1945

There certainly don't seem to be any food shortages in town. All day long, we see women parading beneath our windows bearing aloft enormous tarts to cook in the baker's oven. Easter cakes, no doubt. We wonder whether we might be given a little extra to eat tomorrow, as our hunger is intolerable.”
Agnès Humbert, Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War

Agnès Humbert
“Then, between two sheets of paper, they discovered a third, left there by accident. Clearly written at the top were the words, 'Copy and circulate'. It was the front page of Résistance, mercifully unfinished. Ordered to explain it, I admitted with a suitable degree of reluctance that it was a copy of a tract exhorting the French people to hoard all their nickel coins. I said I had abandoned the project as I was such a bad typist, but that I had made five copies that I had left on seats in the Métro. All in all, it was a plausible story that would only cost me two or three months in prison. I chuckled inwardly as I thought about the Résistance file, with its four hundred names and addresses, lying quietly hidden — together with copies of all the tracts we had published since September 1940 — under the stair carpet between floors. After asking my permission with great ceremony, my gentleman visitors used my telephone to report back to their chief on the success of their mission. Then they hung up, and invited me to leave with them. It was at this point that I remembered the Roosevelt speech that Léo had given me two days before, which was still in my handbag! I asked permission to go to the toilet, which they granted, though not without first snatching my bag from me and ordering me not to shut the door.”
Agnès Humbert, Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War

“This exchange is what an unconditional surrender sounds like. It is the ultimate form of diplomatic coercion. The city of Berlin had been turned into rubble. The defeated country was at the mercy of its enemy. Coercion was the means by which unconditional surrender was obtained. Under the circumstances, diplomatic prowess was meaningless. Only military superiority mattered. A few hours after the unsuccessful negotiation attempt, Chancellor Joseph Goebbels committed suicide. On the next day, 2 May 1945, Gen. Hans Krebs, Chief of the General Staff (OKH), also committed suicide. The above conversation is noteworthy for two things: (1) The Russian side had the power to exterminate the German side, and (2) there was absolutely no negotiation or diplomacy. Valeriano and Maness would do well to review the conversation between Krebs and Chuikov. In a future war the victorious side will dictate the peace to the defeated side in the exact manner described above. This stems from the nature of modern weapons. Such weapons are made to produce decisive results. They are made to engender capitulation and stop all arguments, all negotiations, all half-measures. Atomic bombs were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The result was the surrender of Japan. Diplomatic power is weak when compared to atomic power. In fact, the illusions of diplomatic power must work against those states that favor negotiation over and above measures strictly undertaken to assure military success.”
J.R.Nyquist

William L. Shirer
“We broadcast from coast to coast every utterance of Hitler, but the German people are not permitted to know a word of what Roosevelt speaks.”
William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941

William L. Shirer
“Coffee, ever since it became impossible to buy it in Germany, has assumed a weird importance in one's life.”
William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941

James Bradley
“There was reason to believe the battle for Iwo Jima would be even more ferocious than the others, reason to expect the Japanese defender would fight even more tenaciously.

In Japanese eyes the Sulfur Island was infinitely more precious than Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and the others. To the Japanese, Iwo Jima represented something more elemental: It was Japanese homeland. Sacred ground. In Shinto tradition, the island was part of the creation that burst forth from Mount Fuji at the dawn of history.... the island was part of a seamless sacred realm that had not been desecrated by an invader's foot for four thousand years.

Easy Company and the other Marines would be attempting nothing less than the invasion of Japan.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“Unlike all the other combatants in World War II, including the U.S. Army, Smith and his Marines never lost a battle.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“The Army Air Force concluded after the war that Iwo Jima-based planes destroyed more B-29's on the ground, in raids on Tinian and Saipan, than were lost on all the bombing runs over Tokyo.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“... the island had to be taken at almost any cost.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“The Army Air Force was doing its part to soften up Iwo Jima for the Marines. Beginning December 8, B-29 Superforts and B-24 Liberators had been pummeling the island mercilessly. Iwo Jima would be bombed for seventy-two consecutive days, setting the record as the most heavily bombed target and the longest sustained bombardment in the Pacific War. One flyboy on Saipan confidently told Easy Company's Chuck Lindberg, "All you guys will have to do is clean up. No one could survive what we've been dropping.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“Some optimistically hoped the unprecedented bombing of the tiny island would make the conquest of Iwo Jima a two- to three-day job. But on the command ship USS Eldorado, Howlin' Mad shared none of this optimism. The general was studying reconnaissance photographs that showed every square inch of the island had been bombed. "The Seventh Air Force dropped 5,800 tons in 2,700 sorties. In one square mile of Iwo Jima, a photograph showed 5,000 bomb craters." Admiral Nimitz thought he was dropping bombs "sufficient to pulverize everything on the island." But incredibly, the enemy defenses were growing. There were 450 major defensive installations when the bombing began. Now there were over 750. Howlin' Mad observed: "We thought it would blast any island off the military map, level every defense, no matter how strong, and wipe out the garrison. But nothing of the kind happened. Like the worm, which becomes stronger the more you cut it up, Iwo Jima thrived on our bombardment.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“Kenneth Milstead, a 2nd Platoon buddy of Mike, Ira, Franklin, and Harlon, had just dropped into a shallow foxhole he'd dug when a shell landed beside him and blew him out again. Blood streamed from the embedded fragments in his face. "I could have been evacuated," Milstead recalled, "but the Japanese had pissed me off. I went from being scared to being angry. That was the day I became a Marine.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“For most of the young boys, it had not fully sunk in yet that the defenders were not on Iwo, they were in Iwo, prowling the sixteen miles of catacombs.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“December 1944. The last Christmas for too many young boys. Then off for the forty-day sail to Iwo Jima. The boys of Spearhead had been expertly trained for ten months. They were proficient in the techniques of war. But more important, they were a team, ready to fight for one another. These boys were bonded by feelings stronger than they would have for any other humans in their life.

The vast, specialized city of men — boys, really, but a functioning society of experts now, trained and coordinated and interdependent and ready for its mission — will move out upon the Pacific. Behind them, in safe America, Bing Crosby sang of a white Christmas, just like the ones he used to know. Ahead lay a hot island of black sand, where many of them would ensure a long future of Christmases in America by laying down their lives.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

James Bradley
“It would be forty-four years before physicist Donald Olson would discover that D-Day at Tarawa occurred during one of only two days in 1943 when the moon's apogee coincided with a neap tide, resulting in a tidal range of only a few inches rather than several feet.

The actions of these Marines trapped on the reef would determine the outcome of the battle for Tarawa. If they hesitated or turned back, their buddies ashore would be decimated.

But they didn't hesitate. They were Marines. They jumped from their stranded landing crafts into chest-deep water holding their arms and ammunition above their heads.

In one of the bravest scenes in the history of warfare, these Marines slogged through the deep water into sheets of machine-gun bullets. There was nowhere to hide, as Japanese gunners raked the Marines at will. And the Marines, almost wholly submerged and their hands full of equipment, could not defend themselves. But they kept coming. Bullets ripped through their ranks, sending flesh and blood flying as screams pierced the air.

Japanese steel killed over 300 Marines in those long minutes as they struggled to the shore. As the survivors stumbled breathlessly onto shore their boots splashed in water that had turned bright red with blood.

This type of determination and valor among individual Marines overcame seemingly hopeless odds, and in three days of hellish fighting Tarawa was captured. The Marines suffered a shocking 4,400 casualties in just seventy-two hours of fighting as they wiped out the entire Japanese garrison of 5,000.”
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

Willem Frederik Hermans
“This bowl of bone covered with its lid and its movable hide, this was where it all came from: the other people, the world, the war, the dreams, the words, the deeds that seemed to happen so automatically as if one’s deeds were the world’s thoughts. You would need a second head to understand what the first head was, but I only had one, here in my hands, holding it in a way people never hold anything else. Yet, if not for the claims of scholars, you wouldn’t know your head was any different from your hand or foot.”
Willem Frederik Hermans, Het behouden huis

Elie Wiesel
“London radio, which we listened to every evening, announced encouraging news: the daily bombings of Germany and Stalingrad, the preparation of the Second Front. And so we, the Jews of Sighet, waited for better days that surely were soon to come.”
Elie Wiesel, Night

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